I’m excited and honored to have been able to help develop and launch COBE (the College Behavioral and Emotional Health Initiative) this past week. It has been a busy, crazy, intense, fun whirlwind of activity.
This past June my marvelous mentor, Danielle Dick, had the “crazy” idea to try and launch COBE, a concept that had been bounced around since the inception of our initial project Spit for Science. This coincided with our move from the MCV campus to the MPC (I’m loving the Chipotle). To other people this may have seemed impossible. I’m not sure that word is in Danielle’s vocabulary. Danielle rallied the troops, hired a group of truly wonderful new employees, and began a “media blitz” across the University with an energy that rivaled that of the Energizer Bunny.
By Friday the 14th of August, our T-shirts and door hangers had just arrived. Danielle’s lab pitched in with the COBE team to hang flyers, carry boxes (lots of boxes), distribute t-shirts and provide me with 24/7 anti-anxiety therapy. ☺ The first Love n’ Liquor session was Sunday at 11am and, with that, COBE was officially launched! Since then, we have given out almost 1800 t-shirts and 2500 door hangers, and have met over half of VCU’s Class of 2019. My favorite moment of the week occurred as we wrapped up Welcome Week activities at the Ram Spirit Walk. COBE and the COBE team lined the street to welcome our newest Rams. Student after student walked passed and shouted “COBE!” and/or gave our life-sized COBE a high five.
Thanks to an amazing team and wonderful VCU partners (the Well, Greek Life and the VCU police to name a few), COBE is picking up followers, making friends and bringing together people interested in health and wellness across disciplinary boundaries and levels of academia. It has been a blast! As the first week of classes draws to a close, however, I plan to practice a little wellness myself and relax with my favorite roommate in tow. I look forward to working with the COBE team this year to help promote health and wellness across our VCU Ramily!